PROVERBS 7


2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

God requires from His children an all-round obedience.

All His commands are equally binding. There is to be no picking and choosing-no carefulness in one direction, and carelessness in another. There must be a genuine endeavour to fulfil God's will in ways disagreeable as well as agreeable.

Covetousness has to be eschewed, but evil speaking quite as much so. We have to be honest, but also chaste. Let us take care lest our good points blind our eyes to our bad ones. We are not safe-not acceptable to Christ-unless we show a general all-round thoroughness, avoiding exceptions and reservations. This thought will bear unlimited amplification.

To take one or two illustrations. No amount of zeal and activity in the public proclamation of the truth will exempt us from the obligation of enlightening and rearing our own children in the fear of God.

No amount of warm love and amiability towards the brethren at the meetings will excuse coldness and churlishness with our own kith and kin at home. No amount of time spent at committee meetings will justify neglect of our daily readings.

God's law is very searching; it leaves no corner of our mental nature untouched. It takes away all ground for spiritual swagger. Great is the man who can discern his own weaknesses, and has pluck enough to grapple with them.

Bro AT Jannaway

The Christadelphian, Sept 1901



3 Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

The Name was "written" - Rev 14.1..

Three terms are used in this connection-to write, to engrave, to seal.

To write implies the implanting of information, knowledge, understanding,

thoughts-

"I will put My law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts" (Jer. 31:33).

"Ye are our epistle, written in our hearts, known and read of all men . . . written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the Living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart" (2 Cor. 3:2, 3).

To engrave carries the thought further. It speaks of a shaping, a deep and permanent penetration and impression. God declares of the Christ-stone, cut out of the mountain without hands (Zech. 3:9)-

"Upon one stone shall be seven eyes-(the seven eyes of the little lamb, the seven spirits of Deity)-Behold, I will engrave the graving thereof."

In the Mosaic Tabernacle, only three things were engraved, all to do with the High Priest's vestments-

1. The stones on the shoulders-the strength;

2. The stones in the breastplate-the heart;

3. The pure golden plate on the forehead-the mind.

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy strength and with all thy heart and with all thy mind."

Thirdly, to seal-in [Apoc] chapter 7 the one hundred and forty-four thousand were sealed in their foreheads. To seal is to mark for safety, to identify as a possession, to recognize and accept, to impress with an identifying symbol. From ancient times to the present, a seal has been a mark of genuineness, authority and approval·-

"He that receiveth his testimony has set to his seal that God is true" (Jn. 3:33).

Elihu said to Job-

"God openeth the ears of man and sealeth their instruction" [33:16).

Again-

"Seal the law among my disciples" (Isa. 8:16).

"And I heard a voice from heaven" (Rev. 14:2).

The apocalyptic heavens are defined by what is said to occur in them. John sees the stars of heaven fell, heavens departed as a scroll, silence in heaven, war in heaven, the dragon cast

out of heaven, armies in heaven on white horses. In apocalyptic symbolism, all these things speak of historical developments among the ruling powers of the earth.

The Lamb and the one hundred and forty-four thousand were "in the heavens." They had broken in through the "door in heaven" of chapter 4, and had taken their place among the ruling powers of the earth and were preparing to destroy them so as to fill the earth with God's glory.

Bro Growcott - 144 000 on Mount Zion



4 Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:

Scripture is able to make us wise unto salvation

"through the faith that is in Christ Jesus."

Therefore, no wise man will omit the reading of the Bible from the programme of his daily life, nor will he read in such a way as to give it little chance of making an impression on his mind, such as reading it in a time of weariness, or reading it in too large quantities at long intervals.

A wise man will show the same wisdom in this as in his daily food. A little every day at the right time will make the spiritual man healthy and strong, where long fasts, followed by crams, will enfeeble and derange.

Some think they can get on very well without Bible reading, and that it is enough for them to know the Truth sufficiently and believe and obey the gospel at their first contact. Those who think thus will find themselves out of harmony with fact. The mind is not retentive of knowledge √£ especially divine knowledge. The impressions of knowledge have to be renewed again and again, otherwise knowledge will evaporate.

"Therefore, we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest at any time we let them slip. For if the words spoken by angels were steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him?"

These admonitions of wisdom may fall faintly on the ear in this time of peace and silence while we are left alone with the Word of God for a season: they will burn like fire when this life is past, and we stand before the Lord at his coming to receive the due reward of our deeds.

Seasons 2. 97



13 So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,

THE NATURE OF THE TRANSGRESSION


"The eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked."

The effect produced upon the woman by the eating of the forbidden fruit, was the excitation of the propensities. By the transgression of the law of God, she had placed herself in a state of sin; in which she had acquired that maturity of feeling, which is known to exist when females attain to womanhood.

The serpent's part had been performed in her deception; and sorely was she deceived. Expecting to be equal to the gods, the hitherto latent passions of her animal nature only were set free; and though she now knew what evil sensations and impulses were, as they had done before her, she had failed in attaining to the pride of her life -- an equality with them as she had seen them in their power and glory.

In this state of animal excitation, she presented herself before the man, with the fruit so "pleasant to the eyes." Standing now in his presence she became the tempter, soliciting him to sin. She became to him an

"evil woman flattering with her tongue;" "whose lips dropped as a honeycomb, and her mouth was smoother than oil."

She found him "a young man void of understanding" like herself. We can imagine how

"she caught him, and kissed him; and with an impudent face, and her much fair speech, she caused him to yield."

He accepted the fatal fruit, "and eat with her," consenting to her enticement, "not knowing that it was for his life;" though God had said, transgression should surely be punished with death.

As yet inexperienced in the certainty of the literal execution of the divine law, and depending upon the remedial efficacy of the Tree of Lives, he did not believe that he should surely die. He saw every thing delightful around him, and his beautiful companion with the tempting fruit; and yet he was told that his eyes were shut! What wonderful things might he not see if his eyes were opened. And to be "as the gods" too, "knowing good and evil," was not this a wisdom much to be desired?

The fair deceiver had, at length, succeeded in kindling in the man the same lusts that had taken possession of herself. His flesh, his eyes, and his pride of life, were all inflamed; and he followed in her evil way "as a fool to the correction of the stocks."

They had both fallen into unbelief. They did not believe God would do what He had promised. This was a fatal mistake. They afterwards found by experience, that in their sin they had charged God falsely; and that what He promises He will certainly perform to the letter of His word. Thus, unbelief prepared them for disobedience; and disobedience separated them from God.

Elpis Israel 1.3.



18 Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.

As the Mosaic narrative gives an account of things natural, upon which things spiritual were afterwards to be established in word and substance, the key to his testimony is found in what actually exits. When, therefore, he tells us that the eyes of Adam and Eve were closed at first, in that he says they were opened by sin, we have to examine ourselves as natural beings for the meaning of his words. Moses, indeed, informs us in what sense, or to what phenomena, their eyes were closed, in saying,

"they were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed."

If their eyes had been surreptitiously opened, they would have been ashamed of standing before the Lord Elohim in a state of nudity; and they would have had emotions towards

one another, which would have been inconvenient. But, in their unsinning ignorance of the latent propensities of their nature, shame, which makes the subject of it feel as though he would hide himself in a nutshell, and be buried in the depths of the sea, found no place within them.

They were unabashed; and had they been created with their eyes open, they would have been equally so at all times. But, seeing that their eyes were opened in connexion with, and as the consequence of doing what was forbidden, having

"yielded their members' servants to uncleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity;"

and their superior faculties being constituted susceptible of the feeling, they were ashamed and "the uncomely parts of the body" became "their shame;" and from that time have been esteemed dishonorable, and invariably "hid."

The inferior creatures have no such feeling as this; because they have never sinned: but the parents of Cain, in their transgression, having served themselves of the members they afterwards concealed, were deeply affected both with shame and fear; and their posterity have ever since more or less partaken of it after the same form.

Having transgressed the divine law, and "solaced themselves with loves," "the eyes of them both were opened" as the consequence; and when opened, "they knew that they were naked," which they did not comprehend before.

"By the law is the knowledge of sin," and "sin is the transgression of law; "

so, having transgressed the law, "they knew they were naked" without waiting for the Lord to reveal it to them, and to permit them the lawful use of one another in His own time. They were quite chagrined at the discovery they had made and sought to mitigate it by a contrivance of their own: so "they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."

Although thus corporeally defended from mutual observation, the nakedness of their minds was still exposed. They heard the voice of the Elohim, which had now become terrible; and they hid themselves from His presence amongst the trees.

They had not yet learned, however, that the Lord was not only a God at hand, but a God also afar off; and that none can hide in secret places, and He not see them; for He fills both the heaven and the earth (Jer. 23:23-24). Their concealment was ineffectual against the voice of the Lord, who called out to him, "Where art thou Adam?" And he answered,

"I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."

Adam's heart condemned him, therefore he lost his confidence before God (1 John 3:19-22).

Elpis Israel 1.3.



27 Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

Tempter and tempted

What I have said about the serpent in Elpis Israel stands as it was. I have affirmed neither more nor less than what Moses and the apostles say. 'It was more subtle,' or acute, 'than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.'

It is generally supposed that the serpent was employed by the devil to beguile the woman. 'It cannot be doubted,' says Calmet, 'but that by the serpent we are to understand the devil: who merely employed the serpent as a vehicle to seduce the first woman.' This teaches the existence of an invisible devil before the serpent. The Bible, however, does not teach this.

Diabolos had no existence before the formation of man; but the serpent had. Moses gives not the slightest hint of the existence of a devil before the creations of the sixth day. The serpent first; then man; afterwards, woman; and lastly, diabolos, or devil.

This is the scriptural order of their manifestation, the revelation in the flesh of the incitant to transgression, or diabolos, being coeval with the Fall. Man existed before the devil, and will flourish in eternal glory after his destruction, when sin and all its works are eradicated from the earth.

The Christadelphian, Dec 1873